A student at Walla Walla Comunity College, Sahli had a taste of living through a pandemic in a different state, Indiana, and having to follow their rules and regulations instead of Washington’s.

“I’m going to be brutally honest,” he said. “Washington is terrible compared to the whole rest of the U.S.

He contined, “Being in Indianapolis, they have come to the realization that COVID, there are all these different strains and different sicknesses that can lead back to COVID, but they really don’t. And therefore they weren’t as strict.”

They still had to follow certain rules, like wearing masks during the main event and they could not shake hands, he said, but the rest of it was pretty hands-off.

“They were like, ‘These kids are national competitors, and they do what they want to do.’ It was nice having to go over there and not be told ‘Hey, you have to wear your mask or you have to be vaccinated to come into this restaurant, or this national convention. It was really nice.”

Indiana has a lower number of cases than Washington in the last seven days, as of Nov. 8. The Hoosier State has more than 300,000 more cases than Washington overall, according to data obtained from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Sahli advocates against forcing students to get vaccinated or wear a mask, regardless of age, in order to make it possible for them to go to class in person.

“Last year, I didn’t learn jack (squat) online,” he said of his studies at WWCC. “Now that I’m in class, but I’m gonna have to be vaccinated to be in person, it (stinks.) I don’t want to do it, but I will do it so I can be in class and actually get something out of school.”

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